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World Bank sanctions $300 million for building roads in Tamil Nadu

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By Newsgram Staff Writer

To improve the capacity, quality and safety of Tamil Nadu’s core road network, World Bank has approved a $300 million loan for the ‘Second Tamil Nadu Road Sector Project ‘.

To help the state fulfill its vision, Second Tamil Nadu Road Sector Project will address the accumulated investment needs by supporting upgradation of 1,175 km of the core road network.

The project will adopt a contracting arrangement to encourage economies of scale. It will also offer stronger incentives for performance, viz., Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) contracts (430 km), Public Private Participation (PPP) concessions (145 km) and long-term Performance-Based Maintenance Contracts (PBMC, 600 km).

“While Tamil Nadu has made impressive economic progress, the state government recognizes the need for improving infrastructure, particularly road infrastructure, to make growth more inclusive.  Better roads will help improve access to markets, healthcare and education while creating new jobs and boosting agriculture,” said Onno Ruhl, World Bank Country Director for India.

“Rapid growth has also led to substantial increase in vehicle ownership. An important aspect of the project will be to strengthen road safety in order to bring down the number of fatalities and serious injuries from traffic accidents in the state,” Ruhl added.

The first project – Tamil Nadu Road Sector Project – supported upgrading (724 km) and maintaining (1,030 km) roads along with several initiatives to strengthen institutions as well as road safety. These included a road safety policy, a Road Accident Database Management System, a Road Safety Fund, and black-spot improvement.

During the project period, number of fatalities from road accidents per 10,000 registered vehicles reduced from 19 in 2003 to 11 in 2012. The percentage of roads in poor condition in the state’s core road network (CRN), comprising state highways and major district roads, reduced from about 35 per cent to 8 per cent. Also, the share of roads with less than 2-lane width in CRN decreased from 60 per cent to 38 per cent.

“The first project had a number of institutional successes but there is also an unfinished agenda. The project will support the Government of Tamil Nadu in implementing a more sustainable strategy involving innovative contracting structures with scope for greater efficiency, a gradual shift towards more optimal allocation of budgetary support towards capacity expansion and maintenance and a more coordinated approach to road safety at the state and field levels,” said Pratap Tvgssshrk, Senior Transport Specialist and World Bank’s Task Team Leader for the project.

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The Changing World of Travel

The future of travel

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Travel
From booking with the aid of voice technology and sustainable alternatives such as rail services, to facial recognition technology at security its an ever changing world of travel out there. Pixabay

International carrier KLM Royal Dutch Airlines did a recent survey to figure our how travellers are changing the way they search, book and travel. From booking with the aid of voice technology and sustainable alternatives such as rail services, to facial recognition technology at security its an ever changing world of travel out there.

Destination Instagram

The surveys shows that half of Gen Z and millennials consider how ‘Instagrammable’ their destination will be when booking. How many “likes” will it generate? The guarantee of taking beautiful holiday snaps is a prerequisite for 25.8 percent of them. The photos have to be authentic and taken by them personally.

Travellers increasingly use voice technology to navigate

Many people spend hours consulting search engines and browsing websites for their ideal travel destination. “Smart speakers” are assisting them on their quest, with more and more travellers finding their ideal destination and suitable air tickets using voice technology. KLM’s booking service, which is often consulted with the aid of Google Assistant, is attracting 10 percent more users every month.

Social media travel
Nowadays, people want to post about their travel experiences on social media. Pixabay

Travel inspiration on social media comes from friends and family

Instagram is expected to keep growing as a significant source of travel inspiration. The role of influencers and celebrities as a source of holiday inspiration is declining more and more (14.5 percent). Also, more than 50 percent of travellers don’t trust photos of holiday destinations shared by influencers. Travellers mainly look at posts from friends and family (65.3 percent) or click on hashtags to seek inspiration from strangers (45.9 percent).

Combining air and train travel will become more popular

Sustainability is important and travellers are taking it into account when booking. This is why travel operators are joining forces wherever possible to offer rail tickets for shorter distances as an alternative to flying. KLM will add more options to its website to plan short distances by train. The guiding principle being that the combination of air and rail travel can be planned and booked easily.

Are you compensating for CO2 emissions?

More and more passengers are compensating for their share of carbon emissions. A survey* commissioned by KLM revealed that 38.8 percent of travellers plan to compensate for CO2 emissions next year.

Air travel
Plane travel can be booked very easily these days. Pixabay

Your face is your passport

Queues will be shorter at the airport thanks to facial recognition technology. Earlier this year, KLM conducted tests where passengers passed through checkpoints at security, lounges and boarding by showing a selfie in the KLM App on their phones, instead of presenting their passports. The KLM App shows passengers at which airport this technology may be used. More and more passengers will encounter this technology in 2020 when new tests begin. Naturally, it is up to the passenger to decide whether they want to try this digital innovation or not.

AI to shorten waiting times in unforeseen circumstances

Unforeseen circumstances, such as thunderstorms, can lead to flight delays. Artificial Intelligence (AI) helps reduce inconvenience to passengers by rapidly calculating how best to deploy available crews and aircraft. This will further improve flight punctuality in 2020.

Even more luxury and relaxation at the airport

All sorts of innovations will further improve the ways travellers spend their time at the airport. Transfer passengers will find sleeping pods in KLM’s new non-Schengen Crown Lounge or they can enjoy a luxury dinner at Restaurant Blue, with dishes created by Michelin-starred chef Joris Bijdendijk.

Also Read- Ways to Treat Chapped and Dark Lips

Mobile telephone off or at home

Travellers increasingly prefer to stay off their mobile phone while on holiday, or at least to use it less. On the other hand, they can’t go without a phone altogether. Around 50 percent of passengers would prefer to use their phones as little as possible on holiday, but also indicate that this is not always possible. Almost a third of passengers would like to travel without a phone, but are afraid they will find this impossible. (IANS)